Archive: St. George Fights a New Dragon

By Charles W. Keysor, Editor, Good News Magazine

Credit, they say, should be given where credit is due.

And much credit belongs to a bold, innovative UM minister, Rev. Don Wildmon, founder of the National Federation for Decency. Credit is also due Mississippi Bishop Mack Stokes for granting a special appointment enabling Don to head up NFD.

Last summer I visited this organization’s office in the Wildmon home in Tupelo, Mississippi. One result of that visit, and subsequent contacts, is the interview published on page 11 of this issue.

Don deserves praise because he is a Christian of uncommon principle and courage. When he realized what television was doing to his children, his parishioners, and his country, Don became deeply troubled. His concern developed quickly beyond futile hand-wringing and despair. Soon he began to fight. He rallied other Christians and enlisted their cooperation in a movement which is now nationwide.

He didn’t waste time piddling on the periphery. Instead, NFD went straight for the jugular vein of the enemy—TV’s  advertising income. Minimizing emotion and maximizing hard facts, Don boldly and successfully confronted such corporate giants as Ford, Sears & Roebuck, CBS, ABC, NBC … and the advertising agency elite. He is a new St. George jousting with the dragons of Madison Avenue. He is a latter-day David facing down the corporate Goliath.

What sort of man would dare to do this?

What sort of minister would leave the institutional security of a guaranteed appointment and fringe benefits to pursue “the impossible dream?”

One whom God had stirred into action.

A man whom “God thrust into the game, ” as the Reformer John Calvin once described himself.

A man whose faith produced an intense “hunger and thirst after righteousness.”

Church history recalls many men and women of radical faith. Their personal challenges differed according to the times. But some common denominators can be seen across the Christian centuries: (a) each was stirred unusually by the Spirit of God; (b) each was indignant to see the fallen world brazenly defying the revealed will of God; (c) each, in his or her own way and time, followed God while the world scoffed, fumed or said, “so what?”; (d) each was a doer of the Word, not only a hearer; (e) each accomplished something significant for God’s Kingdom of righteousness; (f) each personified the Spirit’s admonition through Paul: “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” (Romans 12:9, NIV)

I urge you to support Don Wildmon and the National Federation for Decency. Give him your prayers and your dollars. Get active in his vigorous, commonsense crusade. Who knows, God may be able to redeem even the “idiot box” in your living room!


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